Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 04/29/11 at 11:11 PM ET
Former NHL referee Kerry Fraser provides answers at TSN:
The reason players are being ejected more frequently is due to a tightening of the standard imposed upon linesmen to reflect a zero tolerance for face-off “cheaters!” The linesmen take this element of their job very seriously, knowing full well the importance of conducting a fair face-off; especially in crucial areas of the ice. The last thing they want to do is impact the outcome of a game should a goal result from a bad face-off. In recent years additional markings on and around the end zone face-off dots have been added to ensure players line up square to one another and place their sticks on a white marking on the outer edge of their respective side of the dot.
Gaining player cooperation goes a long way in conducting fair face-offs and reducing player ejections. The best linesmen solicit cooperation through dialogue before players even set their positions at the dot.
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